The French bishops have given their backing to a campaign calling for St John Eudes to be declared a Doctor of the Church.
The bishops voted in favour of the move at their plenary meeting in Lourdes, according to the French Catholic daily newspaper La Croix.
St John Eudes was a 17th-century French missionary who founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary (the Eudists) and the Order of Our Lady of Charity. He vigorously promoted devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and wrote the Mass and Office proper to the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The last saints to be declared Doctors of the Church were St John of Avila and St Hildegard of Bingen in October 2012.
In 1991, the French bishops called for St Thérèse of Lisieux to be declared a Doctor of the Church. St John Paul II made the formal declaration in 1997.
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